Warren Buffet said, “The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”
I used to be broke. Dead broke.
A bad gambling addiction separated me from my life savings (over $15,000) within 12 months.
That’s when I decided to study how money works.
I read every personal finance and investing book I could get my hands on.
Fast-forward about eight years later, and I’ve read more than one hundred of the best money books (and started a business around the financial lessons I’ve learned).
In these books, I discovered a few habits the wealthiest people practice daily — and I’ll share three of them in this article.
Read also: 3 smart money moves nobody talks about
They Ask $30,000 Questions Instead of $3 Questions
One of the biggest personal finance mistakes people make is obsessing over small financial decisions, while not spending enough time on the most significant money decisions.
Ramit Sethi, author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich calls this the equivalent of asking yourself $3 questions versus $30,000 questions.
If you want to fast-track your financial path, you need to spend more time on the big wins — the metaphorical $30,000 questions.
“Most of us are obsessed with $3 questions, but we really should be asking $30,000 questions. Get those right and you will never have to worry about how much it costs to buy coffee or an appetizer.” — Ramit Sethi.
Examples of $3 questions are:
Should I make my coffee at home or get it at Starbucks?
Should I buy organic tomatoes or non-organic?
Should I cancel Netflix now that it’s a few dollars more expensive?
Should I get this appetizer or not?
I have $10,000 in savings, should I switch banks with a 0.10% higher interest rate? (only makes a $10 difference per year)
These tiny expenses have almost no impact on your personal finances — yet it’s what people focus on the most.
If you want to improve your finances, your time is much better spent on $30,000 questions — the financial decisions that truly move the needle.
Examples of $30,000 questions are:
Can I earn more by negotiating a raise or switching jobs?
Should I start a side-hustle so I can make an extra $1000 per month?
Do I invest consistently and automatically?
How much am I paying in investment fees?
What’s the interest rate on this 30-year mortgage?
Can I increase my monthly savings rate to 15%?
Do I have a plan to pay off my debt?
Can I comfortably afford this new home or new car?
These are the truly important financial decisions worth spending time on.
Yet, most people ignore or avoid these questions because they are more difficult questions to ask.
But when you get the $30,000 questions right, you don’t have to obsess over cutting back or feel guilty about spending $3 on a morning coffee.
As Ramit Sethi says, “The majority of advice you read focuses on $3 questions, making you manic about hyper-optimizing tiny things that don’t actually matter.”
Spend more time on the big financial questions — increasing your income, investing early and consistently, minimizing investment fees, and paying off your debt.
We only have so much time, energy, and decision-making power to spend on our finances, so don’t let $3 questions distract you.
Focus on the big financial decisions.
They Make Better Choices
In The Millionaire Fastlane, author MJ DeMarco uncovers the different roadmaps to fast wealth creation.
At the center of his ‘fastlane approach’ to wealth lies one core principle:
Making better daily choices.
As MJ DeMarco says, “If you aren’t where you want to be, the problem is your choices. Your circumstances are the symptoms of your choices.”
In other words, building wealth doesn’t just happen — it’s a logical outcome when you make the right daily choices.
If you ask people whether they want to be rich or poor, pretty much everyone will pick being rich.
But if you look at the daily choices most people make, they do things that keep them stuck in financial insecurity.
As said in The Millionaire Fastlane:
“People don’t choose to be poor. They make poor decisions that slowly assemble into a poorness puzzle. Retrace the footprints to poverty and it happens slowly, systematically, and methodically, under a steady diet of poor choices.”
In other words, it’s the quality of your choices that determine whether you’ll stay broke or achieve financial freedom — and especially your daily choices.
“Recognize that every day you make decisions that will ripple through the years. Whatever you decide today impacts tomorrow, weeks, months, years, decades, and yes generations,” said MJ DeMarco.
For example, today you can choose between:
Saving your money vs. wasting it on an impulsive purchase
Learning high-income skills vs. watching hours of Netflix
Starting your own business vs. putting it off until ‘tomorrow’
Spending money on self-education vs. bottle service at the club
Looking for a higher-paying job vs. staying in a job that doesn’t pay well
Researching new investments vs. scrolling through social media for hours
Managing your personal finances vs. reading the latest celebrity gossip
You choose how to spend your time, money, and energy.
And each choice either brings you closer to wealth or pushes you further down a hole of financial insecurity.
On a daily basis, these choices might not seem to make that much of an impact — but compounded over time they lead to completely different outcomes.
As MJ DeMarco said, “The smallest choices made in your daily life create habits and lifestyle that forms process — they are the ones that can make the biggest impact.”
They Invest In Themselves
In Tools of Titans, Tony Robbins was quoted saying the following:
“Investing in yourself is the most important investment you’ll ever make in your life. There’s no financial investment that’ll ever match it, because if you develop more skill, more ability, more insight, more capacity, that’s what’s going to really provide economic freedom.”
Investing in yourself — your skills, knowledge, and network — has the highest ROI.
The more skilled and knowledgeable you become, the better you position yourself to earn more money and make better investments.
When you increase your skills, becoming wealthy is no longer about luck.
It’s a logical long-term outcome because you’re able to bring more value to society and make smarter financial decisions for yourself.
That’s why even Warren Buffett said, “The most important investment you can make is in yourself. One can best prepare themselves for the economic future by investing in their own education.”
And Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
So whether it’s through books, online courses, one-on-one coaching, or live seminars — prioritize investing in yourself.
One new insight from a book could change the trajectory of your life forever.
One practical tip from an online course could make you an extra $1000 per month.
One new connection from a seminar could turn into a life-long business partnership.
Investing in yourself pays some of the highest dividends.
Contributed by Jari Roomer
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